'They were brave adventurers'
Blue Water Rallies, whose round-the-world cruise the yacht Quest had been sailing with before breaking off to make their own way into pirate-infested waters, last night issued a statement over the fatal attack on four yachtsmen.
‘We at Blue Water Rallies are stunned and devastated by the news of the loss of four friends who have had their innocent lives taken away from them by the pirate menace which is plaguing the Indian Ocean. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of Jean, Scott, Phyllis and Bob. We know that all their fellow participants are deeply affected by this appalling tragedy.
‘All four were brave adventurers. Phyllis and Bob had already circumnavigated the world with our rally in 2007-2009 in Bob’s yacht Gaia. They enjoyed it so much that they came back to do it again as crew on various rally yachts. So they are well know amongst a host of yachting people and have had good times on many different yachts. Jean and Scott had only joined the rally before Christmas and were not so well known but, as is the way of yachtsmen, they quickly built a relationship with our floating community. Ironically, after more than 6 years of roaming the globe together, they joined our rally for the added security we could offer through the Gulf of Aden. Sadly, they did not get that far as the pirate activity has spread out across the Indian Ocean at an alarming rate over the past few months.
‘Although yachtsmen have been discouraged from sailing through this area for some time, it is a hard decision when the only other choices are to sail around the stormy, dangerous seas off South Africa, leave the yacht in the Far East, put it on an expensive cargo ship or to sail back across the Pacific which presents more weather challenges and difficulties. When one has set one’s heart on a circumnavigation, these choices are very difficult to make.
‘To all the lovely friends and families that we have been speaking to since the Quest was captured, we extend our deep heartfelt sympathies and share with you the pain of their passing. God bless you all.’